‘When you say I should pay $100 billion, okay I’m staring to do a little math about what I have left over…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Despite his past exhortations begging to be taxed more, billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates may have second thoughts about the wealth tax being proposed by one leading presidential contender, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Although he stopped short of saying he would support President Donald Trump, Warren’s most likely opponent should she clinch the Democratic nomination, Gates refused to rule out voting against Warren at a recent conference.
“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes,” Gates said, according to Fox Business. “I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I’d had to have paid $20 billion in taxes—fine. But, when you say I should pay $100 billion, OK I’m staring to do a little math about what I have left over.”
When asked whether he’d be willing to sit down with Warren and explain the consequences of a wealth tax, Gates said he’s not sure “how open minded she is—or that she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money.”
Warren already has faced a public rift with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, an ardent Obama supporter who feared the progressive trust-buster might seek to split his company. Zuckerberg was reportedly caught on tape at a staff meeting saying he would be prepared to fight those efforts in court.
Warren has made anti-wealth rhetoric a signature component of her presidential campaign, claiming that with additional taxes the wealthy would provide enough revenue to fund proposals such as the universal healthcare option Medicare for All.
While Gates has long prided himself on his charitable donations to pet causes, he seemed less taken with the notion that his hard-earned cash be the foundation for Warren’s unmitigated spending policies.
“Maybe I’m just too biased to think that if you create a company that’s super-valuable, that at least some part of that, you should be able to have,” he said. “A little bit for consumption, and hopefully the balance to do philanthropic things.”
If the 2020 race were to comes down to supporting Trump or Warren, Gates clarified that he would choose the candidate that had “the more professional approach”—a likely jab at Trump’s freewheeling, off-the-cuff style.
But his reluctance to offer a definitive answer spoke volumes as speculation already has to begun to mount on possible third-party alternatives.
Warren responded to Gates’s criticisms on Twitter and said she’d be willing to listen to his concerns.
I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views. @BillGates, if we get the chance, I’d love to explain exactly how much you’d pay under my wealth tax. (I promise it’s not $100 billion.) https://t.co/m6G20hDNaV
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019